North and South Korea have agreed to march together under a unified flag at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games being held next month in PyeongChang, South Korea. Not only that, the countries will form a joint women’s ice hockey team that will take part in the upcoming Games. This is big news as the two nations have not been on friendly terms for quite some time.
North and South Korea were part of a single country called Korea until 1948, when it split into two nations. This was followed by a war (1950 to 1953) between the two nations. After the war ended, the border between North and South Korea became the most guarded border in the world. The two countries have evolved very differently from each other.
North Korea has been led by people from the same family since it was founded. Kim Jong-un (image) is the current leader, and his grandfather and father were the leaders before him. There isn’t much communication between North Korea and the rest of the world. The government very strictly controls many aspects of its citizens’ lives. People don’t have many gadgets and conveniences.
South Korea is democratic. The citizens of the country have a very high standard of living, and South Koreans are one of the world’s most hi-tech people. The current president is Moon Jae-in (image).
Korean is the official language of both North and South Korea. The Korean alphabet is called Hangul. A popular Korean food is kimchi, a dish made of pickled vegetables. Taekwondo is a form of martial arts that originates from Korea. Hanbok is a traditional dress of Korea.
The two countries have marched under a unified flag previously in the opening ceremony of a Winter Olympics (the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy). However, since then, the two nations have had quite a few tiffs and quarrels.
Image Credits: https://www.pyeongchang2018.com for the Olympic logo, User P388388 for Kim Jong-un’s image, History – Washington State University for the North Korea South Korea map image, http://korea.net for the women making kimchi image and Moon Jae-in’s image
Sources: https://www.pyeongchang2018.com, New York Times, http://korea.net